CS 485: Building the INTERNET in a Room

Kalamazoo College, Winter 2016 Syllabus


Course Description: This class will explore the basic building blocks of the modern INTERNET by building a standalone INTERNET. Using Raspberry Piís, groups of students will build routers, web servers, email servers, and provide both DNS and DHCP for client computers. This will involve learning the details of how these services work and then applying that knowledge to build a working standalone INTERNET that does not rely upon access to the full INTERNET or web.
Typically, each topic will be presented in lecture and then implimented on networked Raspberry Pi's.

Instructors: Gerry Howser and Alyce Brady
TA: Kyle Sunden


Hands-on configuration of a LINUX system is a central component of this course. The course will be mostly hands-on with a brief lecture and discussion of each new topic. Groups have been assigned and the ability to work well in a group is critical.

Prerequisites: COMP 210: Data Structures in JAVA.
MATH 230 or COMP 481 would be helpful.
Instructors: Gerry Howser
Olds/Upton 311, 337-7379
Dr. Howser's weekly schedule
Alyce Brady
Class Websites: cs485Winter2016.
It is your responsibility to sign up for this course on moodle as well.
Textbook: none required.
Additional Material: Local resources and pages from Adafruit will be assigned during the course.

Computing Resources and Software

Course work:

Grade Weights
Class Participations10%
Pi Servers50%

Topics to be covered (and tentative course schedule):
Week 1: Overview of Project
The OSI Model vs TCP/IP
Communications sub-Layers
Connecting to the Pi 2
Week 2 & 3: DHCP
Network Convergence
RIP on the Pi
Week 4: RIPv2
Week 5: LAMP on the Pi 3
Week 6 & 7 DNS and zone files
Week 8: SMTP
Weeks 9: OSPF
Week 10: Course wrap-up and Review
Exam Week: Final Exam

Attendance and Participation:

Regular attendance and fully engaged participation is expected of all students in this course. Your grade will be partially based on in-class projects, discussions, and occasional quizzes, so your attendance will affect your grade. Active participation in the class means being on time, being prepared, listening to others, contributing ideas of your own, and asking questions as they come up.

Assignments and Grades:

Assignments, announcements, class notes, and other material will be made available on the course web site and Moodle. Students are responsible for checking these resource frequently.

Reading assignments and discussion questions or exercises may be assigned for each class. You are expected to come to class having completed the assignment and being prepared to discuss both the ideas from the readings and your solutions to any exercises. You should also bring questions you have from the readings to class. You are encouraged to work on the discussion questions and exercises in groups; just be sure that each group member understands each answer well enough to present it to the class.

There will be 2 exams, a midterm and a final exam. There will be additional short quizzes.

Collaboration and the Honor System:

This course operates in accordance with the principles of the Kalamazoo College Honor System: responsibility for personal behavior, independent thought, respect for others, and environmental responsibility. In particular, academic integrity is a fundamental principle of scholarship. Representing someone else's work as your own, in any form, constitutes academic dishonesty. Unauthorized collaboration and receiving help from others outside the bounds permitted by the instructor are also violations of the College honor system. You are responsible for working within the permitted bounds, and acknowledging any help from others or contributions from other sources.

Discussion questions: You should feel free to work with others on the discussion questions. As you work with others, keep in mind that the goal is not just getting a solution to the problem, but learning how to solve the problem yourself.

Any student with a disability who needs an accommodation or other assistance in this course should make an appointment to speak with me as soon as possible.